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The National Press Club

News/Business. (2013) Actress Mariska Hargitay, founder of the Joyful Heart Foundation, speaks about helping victims of domestic violence and child abuse. New.

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Detroit 6, Us 5, Sarah 4, Washington 4, Olivia Benson 3, Mike Tyson 2, United States 2, U.s. 2, Scu 2, Lynn Rosenthal 1, Polly Hoskins 1, Wayne 1, Dr. Seuss 1, Obama 1, Dr. Francis Collins 1, Ms. Kim 1, Miley 1, Knowledged 1, Iwas 1, Andission 1,
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  CSPAN    The National Press Club    News/Business.  (2013) Actress Mariska Hargitay, founder of  
   the Joyful Heart Foundation, speaks about helping victims...  

    March 23, 2013
    9:10 - 10:04pm EDT  

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awesome history ech? what is our duty in light of our world crisis presents we have? the answer is answered by ancestors, which is this -- to know our past and honor it, to engage ever present and improve it and to imagine a whole new future and forge in the most ethical, effective, and extensive ways. [applause] the conscious of our commitment to such a world and practice of our people, let me end with a paraphrasing of a charge and challenge opposed when i wrote the million man march mission statement. i said, let us always strive and weuggle in such a way that always know and honor ourselves
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and introduce ourselves to history and humanity as a people who seek and speak truth. who do and demand toughness. ancestors and elders and cherish and challenge our children, care for the poor and vulnerable, and gave them in their struggle to and their poverty and empower themselves. maintain a relationship and constantly struggle against evil and injustice and always raise and pursue and practice the good. if not this, then what? if we don't do it, who will get th? thank you very much. [applause] rex next, actress mariska hargitay on her work with victims of domestic violence and child abuse. after that, the human rights themes found in the writings of
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dr. seuss. , on "washington journal" a discussion on president obama's trip to the middle east. senior white house correspondent from cbs will discuss the history and importance of presidential press conferences. from theel o'hanlon brookings institution talks about u.s. missile-defense capability. " live aton journal 7:00 a.m. eastern, on c-span. >> we can take pictures of the ,rain and see the whole thing but there is this enormous gap in between about how the circuits in the brain function in order to be able to move my at you and process
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that information, or to lay down a memory. we don't know how that works. that technology is yet to be invented, a lot of this will be technology development. a lot will be nanotechnology. what we aim to do is record, from maybe hundreds of thousands of brain cells at the same time. be able, therefore, to understand how the circuits work. that is the brain activity map that is being talked about. very early days, not even a scientific plan at about milestones and time tables and cost. it is getting to be an exciting moment to put something together that we could not have thought of. >> more with nih director, dr. francis collins, sunday on "q&a." >> now, actress mariska hargitay speaks to the national press club about her work with survivors of domestic violence and child abuse. the star of "law & order: svu"
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is also the founder of the joyful foheart foundation. this is just under one hour. am so honored and thrilled to be here today. thank you, angela. reminding me of the old days. [laughter] my heart is beating, and it is such an honor, thrilled to be here for so many reasons. i just came from standing with the vice president and attorney general holder at a press conference to highlight the dire and immediate need to reduce nested violence homicides. -- domestic violence homicides. and now here i am with all of you in washington dc, a very exciting day. the kind of day that makes your diary burst into flames when you write about it. i have to tell you that i whipped out my cell phone and took a filthy -- selfie with the vp.
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[laughter] you understand that i own the honor of being here today to a very sweet woman. where are you? hiding. there you are. i wanted to point that out to everybody thomas family's daughter. i want to thank you for throwing mining into the ring. you wantderstand that to be a prosecutor when you grow up are. i thank you in advance for everything you're going to do with your life. the website for the national press club describes this as a place where news breaks out and flows out into the world. where journalists trained to become the next generation of storytellers. to reinforcees not only what a huge and and great honor this is to be here,
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but also the scope of this opportunity and the importance of this moment and the state. -- and this day. also says on the website that the stakes and be higher. i cannot agree more. when i i was thinking about what i wanted to say here today, and this place where news flows out abouthe world, i thought my first encounter with the statistics of sexual assault and domestic violence and child abuse. , iwas almost 15 years ago hate to say. i was doing research for my role there they were. if you'll bear with me, i would like to repeat them, even though angela has already sent them. i think there were three feeding and repeating and repeating. , one in threey women experience physical or sexual abuse by an intimate partner in her lifetime. one in four girls and one in six
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boys are sexually abused by the age of 18. every two minutes in the united states, somebody sexually assaulted. every nine seconds, a woman is beaten. more than three women are killed by an intimate partner. and everyday, five children die of abuse and neglect. , andtatistics went on then the letters came. at first there were a few, then there were more, than there were hundreds, and since then there have been thousands, oddly. -- sadly. women and men writing newsletters to me did not ask for an an autograph, a headshot, they just goes your stories for -- of abuse to me. majority of them had some version of the phrase, i have never told this to anyone. there i was, holding in my hands, the stories behind the statistics that i had just learned. there i was at work every day, having these issues pressed into my soul.
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pressed into my consciousness. they were imprinted on it. they changed my thinking. so i educated myself, i trained to become a rape crisis advocate area joined a few boards, i got involved. i am so proud to be on a show that was brave enough to go into a territory that nobody else is talking about. obviously, i had my role to play on television, but after learning what i learned in hearing the statistics in receiving these letters, i knew that i wanted to do more. i wanted to play a larger role in helping survivors heal and reclaim their lives. in 2004, i started the joyful heart foundation. , andission is to heal power and educate survivors of the mystic, sexual assault, and child abuse. and shed light on the dark is that surrounds these issues. -- darkness that surrounds these
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issues. i get emotional. because of our ceo, we have raised more than $10 million -- [applause] thank you. let me try that again. $10 millioned over in private funds and served directly over 10,000 survivors and the professionals who care for them. oneave connected with over million individuals through our education and awareness initiatives and have championed crucial legislation and policy reform, which i am very proud of. to get justice for survivors. expert on not an these issues, i proudly claim the title of advocate. in the literal sense of the world. \ one who calls out to you.
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that is my inner self clapping for myself, did you hear that dat? [laughter] ok. one who calls out for you on behalf of the thousands of survivors whose voices, courage, hope, that i am honored to bring into this room with me today. today i want to talk about gardening. how was that for a left turn? , it comesuy a plant with instructions. it says, requires watering daily. .hrives in sunlight if the issues of domestic violence am a sexual assault, and child abuse can with a label on them to how to make them grow in society, it would say, requires darkness, thrives in darkness.
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, andce, fear, shame isolation. silence allows criminals to thrive. think about how helpful it is for each one of us -- how to a criminal, if we are not willing to talk about these crimes. and this is not about the victims who refused to come forward. i'm talking about everybody else. all of us here in this room. think about how helpful it is for a rapist if we consider , oneand unseemly topic that is too frightening, that is too complex, one that is too murky, too difficult to prosecute, or simply not worth it. what kind of society do we end up with? society where,a
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after 40 years plus, you can still count on one hand a number of corporations funding these issues in any significant way. many of you are here today, and i want to say thank you for that. a society where schools and institutions settle cases of sexual violence with as little transparency, as little accountability, and as little exposure as possible. hardiety where it is so for the antiviolence movement come together because, in order to compete for limited funding, organizations must stand out. by definition, it must stand alone. we end up with a society where, although, thank god, congress recently reauthorize the violence against women act, thank god -- [laughter] --[applause] we end up with a society where, 22 senators and 138 congressman voted against it.
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it is unconscionable. it's unconscionable. where,up in a society after a victim has been raped or beaten at the hand of a spouse, after the devastation of the,, thehas to live through trauma of how society receives her. she has to survive the trauma of, we don't want to deal with that. we don't want to talk about that. she has to live through the trauma of, what was she wearing? why was she dancing like that? why was she out so late? ?hat did she expect she was asking for it. i'm sure he didn't mean it. he is such a nice guy. why didn't she just leave? , one of the most shocking demonstrations of how we regard crime in our society is the
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backlog of untested sexual assault evidence kits. rape kits. jar sitting -- which are sitting in police storage facilities across the country. both because i feel compelled to talk about it every chance i get, and because it is such a clear and concrete example, please allow me to dig down into this issue for a second. in the united states, individuals take these enormously courageous steps of reporting their rate to the police. -- rape to the police. because of what they have suffered, their bodies are a living, breathing crime scene from which doctors and nurses collect a rape kit. this process of evidence collection takes between 4-6
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hours. if somebody endorse a 4-6 our invasive exam -- endures a 4-6 ouhoure invasive exam, that evidence would be tested. it can affirm the survivors attack of the story. discredit the attacker. connect the suspect to other crimes. -- connecte again the suspect to other crimes. i should say the third time, really. you have got to get this one. they can also exonerate innocent. the bottom line here, a rape kit can bring justice. of a an integral part survivor. it is vital in keeping rapist off the street. yes, federal authorities estimate that there are hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits across the country. hundreds of thousands.
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i don't get it. polly hoskins is a leading sexual violence advocate perfectly summed it up when she said, if you have stacks of physical evidence of a crime and you are not doing everything with this evidence, then you must be making a decision that this isn't a very serious crime. here is the goodness. jurisdictions have started to see the results of testing every single rape kit. new york city cleared its backlog of 70,000 kits and now tests every single kit that comes in. the proof of the value of testing every kit -- their arrest rate for rape jumped from 40% to 70% compared -- [applause] right? huge! compared with only 24% nationally.
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fight with statistics. within the past two years, los angeles have also cleared its backlog of 12,669 kits. and then there's detroit are. waynee unbelievable county prosecutor, ms. kim were they -- -- kim worthy -- [applause] .ho is here with me on the dais i really want to be when i grow up. you when i grow up. it takes us seven days to shoot an episode. -- and she did not have a full-time unit to prosecute crimes until just under two years ago. now, only had six assists and prosecutors, three investigators and one victim advocate.
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for 70,000 cases a year. she is a mother of two, just saying. [laughter] in 2009, her office discovered that there are more than 11,000 rape kits rotting, literally, in a storage room in the detroit police department. the national institute of justice, lynn rosenthal and chris rose, who are also with me addressed theais, backlog. and god. the joyful heart are so proud to partner with them on this work. the first ago, when 400 kids were tested and entered into the national dna database, law enforcement were able to identify 29 serial rapist. -- rapists.
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[applause] it is huge. that is only out of the first 400. we are talking about hundreds of thousands. that just goes to show you and makes you think about what could have not been. one of the kids in detroit belonged to a young mother who was raped at gunpoint in her two young children were sleeping next to her. immediately following the attack, she bravely called the police and went to the hospital, where evidence was collected from her body. in her words, said, i have no choice, the only way that i had of getting the person on the street was to go. the rape kit was tested, 14 years later. 14 years. when a prosecutor finally told her that they had identified a rapist, she courageously moved forward with the prosecution.
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her attacker was found guilty and sentenced up to 60 years in prison. that is the happy ending of that story. detroit has nearly 10,000 untested rape kits remaining. the city's financial woes are making national headlines. joyful heart is also working with kim's office to explore how -$15 million it finish theto backlog. the detroit commission is also set up a fund to which individuals from all over the country have already given $40,000, many intonations of $10 and $20 increments. from survivors in detroit i want to help, people who just want justice, people want their rate of the street. street. s off the people who want to send a message that rapist will be accountable for their crimes. where does that leave us?
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does it leave us defeated? no. it leaves us with where we are today. society. today, as a society, we say, no more. everyone say it with me. no more. , nearlyfirst time every organization that is working to change the haunting statistics behind these preventable crimes, whether the organization focus is on women , teens,s, men and boys children, rural or urban communities, it is coming together in a movement, united under one symbol. no more. peace sign, and the red ribbon demands action for aids, and a pink ribbon has changed the way we think about breast cancer.
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and now, our collective commitment is to end sexual assault and domestic violence. it now has its own symbol, it's fine, it's begin. -- it's sign, it's beacon. it is not an initiative, it is not a campaign, it is a call to action. it is a movement to stand up and began out for every woman, man, every child who is suffering from this violence. in a movement for every victim struggling to find their voice -- perpetrators have relied on the fact that the movement to stop them would not come together. they have relied on the fragmentation, they depend on fear and silence, to keep doing what they are doing. no more seeks to remove the shame and stigma around surviving these issues. to make these issues easier for people to talk about what we're doing here today.
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to empower bystanders in every community to get involved in preventing them. you think, what am i going to do? how am i going to get involved? this is.hat it is for everybody to get involved. no more leaving it to -- for others to find the answers. no more blaming survivors. no more standing by and doing nothing. no more has been years in the making. what began as an idea three years ago, today has become a reality. people align themselves with causeovement and the gains visibility. policymakers will take notice. to stronger public policies and more funding for prevention of services. this means more funding for places like wayne county and kim need it.o more funding for survivors to have their rape kits tested.
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together, we can end domestic violence and sexual assault. .ogether today, you have the opportunity to play a role. it is simple, really. each of you has been given a a pin displaying the number symbol, i am asking you to wear it. simple as that, where it. i am asking you to share it. at least some of you in this room? or this will work. understandably. the closest corollary i can give you is the aids ribbon. aids was an issue that nobody wanted to talk about. it concerns sexual behavior and drug abuse, and people blamed there was a lot of stigma around it. : people started wearing the aids ribbon, it moves the issue into the open. it urged people, it encouraged the conversation, discussion, and ultimately contributed to a
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better place for policies, progress and for combating the ole miss. -- illness. making aids-related discrimination less acceptable. that is our wish for no more. it begins here today in this room. in this room here, today. it is a moment. a big one. anyway, we all have a role to play in this. i deeply encourage you to play yours. violence andic sexual assault. it may not happen in my lifetime, but i am committed to doing my part in bringing that about. conversations like this are happening all over the city today in capitol hill, on twitter, and speaking of playing a role -- the wizards are playing the milwaukee bucks in a game dedicated to know more tonight -- no more tonight.
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is this what a day looks like when these issues are pressed, the way they ought to be pressed. ideas that were deliberately. i believe that is our job. yours and mine, to press areas we must press things out into the light. our fingers on the button of the bullhorn to make the world listen. as members of the national press , leaves, to you the nextand teach generation to do the same. i just want to say that when i started out on this journey, i was an actress, and very happy that i had landed a gig on a tv show. [laughter] truly. i did not know that i would start a foundation. i didn't know that joyful heart would have a place in the first-
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ever white house roundtable on sexual violence. i did not know that i would testify before congress. i did not know that i would ever get to me the president and stand with joe biden, my hero, who wrote the original legislation. i did not know that i would have the privilege of seeing survivors take the courageous steps toward healing and reclaiming their lives. in short, i did not know i would be here today. watch my diary burst into flames tonight, i will celebrate all of these things. and most of all, perhaps, i will celebrate the things that we all don't know yet but are within reach. ,f we persevere, if we press on again, in the national press club's very wise words, the stakes could not be higher. thank you. [applause]
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>> thank you very much. we have a lot of questions on several different topics. catch her breath. imaging of water. andet a drink of water, come on back up. [laughter] there are no questions about make up. >>.net. -- darn it.
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west first question -- there are many causes out there. lots of good ones. -- theno more movement no more movement? we are stronger in numbers. we are more powerful in numbers. , illumination, learning about how -- through my job, what i have learned and how these issues have pressed into me, as i started the joyful heart foundation, i seen so many different organizations vying for the same things. i think that dilutes. it is about unity and coming together. i have seen the way coming
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together and rallying around a makesand a survivor change. when a group of like-minded people come together, a change is made. >> where did you learn about the rape kit backlog? who talk a lot about what it is, why it matters, how did you learn about that initially and why did you pick that is one thing to focus on? and follow-up on that -- where besides detritus progress still need need to be made on that front? the first part, where a lender about the rape kit backlog was miley, the ceo joyful heart had just come back from meeting with sarah, the expert on it. -- onelearned about assumes that if somebody gets the evidence that can seek and ie, you assume --
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was so horrified and mortified. truly, in disbelief. everyone knowing that justice was not being served in this way. i said, it is a perfect microcosm of how these issues are regarded. -- kim and sarah can speak about where the other places are like detroit, if i may invite you up to answer that. >> thank you. that is a great question. where else -- what other cities are struggling with untested rape kits on the backlog? the big answer is, we are not sure. we only have estimates that the moment. , hundredsid earlier of thousands of untested kits. perhaps in police storage facilities across the country. the fact is, very few, only two
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states actually track what happens to rape kits. once they are collected from victims. as the the state of illinois and the state of texas. very few other cities. .e are not sure one of our big reform pushes is to get the federal government and other states to require that police report out publicly what they are actually doing with rape kits. in our experience, once a city announces a rape kit backlog, we can find the resources and political will and public the changesake that are needed. i can say that every city we have ever looks at, anyone we have ever asked for numbers, has ended up with backlogs at a minimum of 1000 or so, but usually in the multiple thousands. 10,000 or so.
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lots of cities are struggling with this. those that haven't knowledged it, like los angeles or new york or cleveland or detroit or houston, dallas, those are cities that have publicly backlogs and are actively taking steps to fix it. it is just too embarrassing not to. i am kim or the -- worhty, the wayne county prosecutor. you assume that cities report when they do them. there was a study done five years ago when i found untested backlog rape kits in 49 out of the 50 states. the biggest problem is getting people to a knowledge problem. people try to sweep it under the rug once they found them. ask our next question is for the subject matter experts, as well. feel free to throw it back. what does it cost to test a single rape kit and what exactly
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is involved in the testing? is that dna testing or more to it than that? would love chris to answer that. in terms of what it actually means to test a kits. the general cost is roughly -- you hear lots of different estimates between $1000 and $1500. that is a general estimate. it is expensive. but we have also -- our experience is that it is not just about the resources. once the community commits to and prioritizes testing, they find a way to find the money. am chris rose, deputy director at the national institute of justice, the research arm at the u.s. department of justice. sarah is right, the testing of a rape kit, dna testing can cost anywhere between $1000 and $1500, i would say. we at the national institute of justice, i will give us a little bit of a plug, are working towards faster and cheaper ways of doing that.
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once you can get that kind of thing in place, along with a number of other things, because this is a multifaceted problem, then we can really make some progress and move things along quicker. >> thank you. turning now to the show. questioner says, your tv character influenced your thinking and your advocacy. how much do you influence your character and the content of your show? [laughter] >> i like the question. [applause] [laughter] i would say it is 50-50. and it is to talk about olivia benson, i would say, i have learned so much from her. excuse me for reaching. she has -- it can still be polite.
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that is sort of her motto, fearlessness. it is not that she doesn't have to fear, it is that she does it anyway. it is not about her, she is a mama bear. a lioness. what has been so exciting about this process and about me needing to do something from my outrage, and if i could just say, sarah and tim, for me, i was a civilian. i learned about the rape kit backlog and was like -- what? i cannot believe it. everybody i have told that it has responded responded the same way. we assume -- you just assume you get a rape kit done that it gets tested. when you learn about all the things and why they don't, it is a call to action. it pushes you into action. in terms of olivia, at first i wanted to do something. she influenced me. 18 -- , with my stellar
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a-team behind me i joyful hearts, they have helped increase the show. , warren,show runner is such an incredibly great man and understands the value and the platform of the knowledge that we have access to. because of that, we have done shows about it. there will be times when i will read a script and say, this is an opportunity or, let me have our expert on that. or, kim, can healthy with these statistics? did a show on the rape kit backlog. we have done so much about a survivor and what happened and the process and the answer to whatestimate of what -- does the rape kit entail? we showed it, because people just do not know. there have been many places where now joyful heart is beating the show in supporting the show. -- aiding the show and supporting the show.
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our original executive producer was also a board member. i think people with a soul that men,right to please understanding platform may have and the power in educating. i hope that answers your question. >> yes. given your advocacy and your the important topic, how did you respond to having mike tyson guest star on the show geck? what was it like to have him on the set with you? >> ultimately, i think that the episode was a very powerful episode. knowsponse was, i did not that they had cast mike tyson originally. initially. lie was howcern survivors would respond. i understoods --
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their confusion and why they would be hurt and confused i this choice. -- by this choisce. that is what i wanted to take care of, survivors who often, in the past, have not had a voice. i wanted to make sure that they had one. that is why we stood about joyful heart and made the statement that we did. .gain, life is complex i don't know all the cases of all the moving parts, but i thought the episode was compelling and powerful and the end of the day, it told a beautiful story. there any other shows in hollywood that you think you're doing a good job shining light on this subject that her onto the currently? x that is a great question. i have 14 children. i don't really watch tv. that is the truth. [laughter]
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i am trying to think there are any shows. nothing comes to mind right now. -- if i think of something, i will let you know. [laughter] i just don't watch television. tv often lacks the new one in detail of real life. what do you think is the most unrealistic part of paper trail of sexual assault or domestic either of whatu" you show or do not show? what is the most unrealistic ?art? sarah geck ok. yeah, i will say it. i think that olivia benson
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and the members of the special areims unit on "svu" extremely compassionate and well-versed in these issues and knowledgeable and empathetic. and, maybe sometimes, not every survivor or victim is met with the compassion and respect that they should be met with. >> thursday yeah -- ?> may i gathe it is a big question and there are many issues. scu detectives and relied do not deal with homicide. that is the first ring. in the show, we have 42 minutes to tell a story.
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i deal with homicide on the show that are linked. most people know that. ahomicide is a homicide, sexual assault come a domestic violence is a different thing. want to say is -- i just went off on a tangent and forgot what i wanted to say. got thisen i first role, you think, how can i do research to play this character with the integrity that i wanted to play her? going on right along and hanging out in precincts, and modeling myself after a few scu detectives that i met -- svu detectives that i met and i thought they were amazing, powerhouses in doing their job and would never stop at anything. i wanted to be like that. but in addition, visits and -- the specific night that i
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learned the statistics, my boss was being honored by an organization at mount sinai, they had a dinner called the silver whistle dinner. that is the night that i learned these statistics. --n i learned a rape kits rape crisis counselors and rape crisis advocates. i went to that training to become that and learning what i learned there and how to deal, respectfully and kindly, with survivors, the way the district -- they deserve to be, really infused my character. i wish that all cops, all detectives, all special victims unit detectives, -- or all cops, really, the could understand the compassion that -- i said one time, how would you feel if your bike got stolen? your house was robbed? in the top just you and w and did not treat you with respect.
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it is about respect. that is an important part. >> violence in the media has been in the news a lot. in recent months and, obviously scu is not a program -- "svu" not am assuming, programming watch with your children. heidi utility activism and trying to curb violence in real life with the fact that the show is a violent show on television? >> i think that when material is dealt with responsibly and when consequences and accountability -- when violence is gratuitous and out there, and people imitated when there are no consequences-- imitate it
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when there are no consequences. and things get you into a crazy fervor, i think that "s knew rings to light issues that have not been talked about. to takepeople having accountability. that is the part that puts it through a different lens. you are having people talk about issues that they normally don't talk about, and then showing perpetrators the consequences. of joyful heart in that way is that, with olivia benson and the entertainment component, combined with what we are all doing in this room and it iswer of this unity, going to change everything. if we say to perpetrators, i will not stand by and watch what you do. i will not not tell. i am involved.
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i see you. i am watching you. now i am going to take accountability. it is our problem. , who am i toore get involved? who are you to get involved? you are a human being that is watching violence, witnessing somebody being hurt. it is about accountability. it is about connecting to our responsibility as a human being. [applause] >> get me all hot and bothered. [laughter] watch the the show go, she is mad now. [laughter] not kidding, she means this. we have an active online audience today. i will ask one of the questions that has come in via twitter. this person asks, what advice do you give to someone who would like to report their rapes? would i give that
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want to report their rate? -- rape? first of all i would say, you are so strong and i admire you so much and there are people that want to help you and you are not alone. and i applaud you. and you are changing the world in preventing this from happening to other people. we are unifying to do everything we can so this does not happen again. do you want to add anything? thank you. are here in washington, of course, and you mention that the violence against women act was just reauthorized. what would you say is the next political priority for you in washington or in state legislatures? >> for me?
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there is a lot to be dealt with, isn't there. right, we have our focus now on the rape kit backlog. we are going to stay focused and we certainly are very ambitious, as you have heard what joyful heart wants to do and we want to partner with other organizations. we are not going to stop until we do. for me, right now, the most important thing is about educating and locking arms with people so they don't say, what can i do? i want people to know what they can do and feel empowered and realize how much power they do have to say something. to speak up for somebody. -- what they, with symbol is, i think the breast cancer analogy is so beautiful to me. , breast cancer used to be a thing -- don't talk
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about that. the you see people wearing pink ribbon, and i always feel like -- rockstar. they are so proud. you see somebody that survived rest cancer and you want to jump on the bandwagon and support. you look at them differently and admire them and they are so empowered. ,hether it is breast cancer are all the different things, once you have survived it, you are empowered. so let's unify around these issues and make it something that we all talk about, so our kids know how to keep themselves safe, so women fill supported, so men go, that is not ok. do we stop blaming other people and aching responsibility. this morning, listening to president biden, he said that if a woman runs across the field naked, you can arrest her for indecent exposure, but that does
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not give you the right to rape her. the point is, let's stop blaming rape exams and putting the blame there and take it on ourselves. teaching, men, women, children, about the fact that people deserve to live a violent free life. how about that? [applause] >> we are seeing more and more celebrities come to washington to lobby for a cause. while some might think it is publicity, why do you think it is important for you to come to the capital and you worry about celebrity backlash i have-- i think that been given an incredible opportunity.
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from where i stand as an actor have dealt i, with these issues. i have seen the power of community and how it affects survivors. i have seen people have their life back. i have seen people begin again. that moves me deeply. after also seen people they were victims of sexual assault give up. eddie's to describe it as i saw the light -- i used to describe it as i saw the lights go out. they thought they were not worthy. survivor that may have a skewed views and of their beauty and worth, sometimes you
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need to refocus. i am passionate about refocusing the blame where it needs to be again, how convenient it is for a perpetrator if we are not talking about it. we're saying it is not important, do it again. by standing here today, you are not going to have that much leeway. they will not have it. i am moved by my heroes that are making a difference. devoted their lives to this. the people that came up with the campaign. i should take credit for that today. [laughter] this was a train at wanted to get on. i was giving people their life
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back. the celebrity backlash, not so much. i am in it for the long haul. [applause] >> would you ever run for public office yourself? >> that is a good one. i could be used to it up here. thank you so much for asking. >> we're almost out of time. we have a couple of housekeeping matters. first of all, i would like to remind you about our upcoming out speakers. the nationale have security and illustration whistle-blower. march 18 we will have a reince priebus.
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to present our guest with our traditional national press club coffee mug. we hope to see it on the set sometime soon. >> thank you. >> we always wrap up with one final question. s.v.u. next doing year? >> you little devil. i certainly hope so. [applause]